SPR looks to gauge student needs

The Student President’s Roundtable (SPR) met on Friday, Sept. 29 to continue their discussion on revitalizing Case Western Reserve University events for the student body.

The SPR is made up of the heads of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative (UDC), the University Media Board (UMB), the University Program Board (UPB), the Interfraternity Congress (IFC), the Panhellenic Council, the Class Officer Collective (COC) and the Residence Hall Association (RHA).

In SPR’s constitution, it states that its mission is to have an organization of self government for the students.

The purpose of the SEC shall be a system of self-governance for Case Western Reserve University undergraduate students,” it reads on the website. “The SEC shall oversee the allocation of Student Activity Fee revenue, foster collaboration between member boards and improve and enhance student life.”

Caroline Gray, leader of SPR, mentioned that on Oct. 30 the organization would be putting on a “Haunted History” of CWRU to celebrate Halloween.

Gray said that the group has created some spaces for students in the past.

“Last year, we accomplished a proposal for the Thwing Center, which updated the Thwing Ballroom and created that new student lounge space by the new UDC office,” she said. “That update repainted the ballroom, got new supports for the floors (which were dangerous to dance on before), all new wood and carpet flooring, new drapes etc.”

During the meeting, the group aimed to revamp student programs and activities; JP O’Hagan, chair of the University Media Board and was instrumental in getting the Thwing Center student lounges, suggested research that was necessary to gauge the needs of students.

“[There is] no magic button to hit and change the culture [of CWRU],” said O’Hagan.

He addressed that the group needed to conduct research by asking students what they liked or didn’t like about the programs at CWRU. While the other members were in agreement, they were unclear as to how to do so.

Members expressed a need to reach the student body more directly, but with a constituency so large, find it difficult to devise a feasible way in which to represent students accurately and fairly.

Much of the meeting was devoted to determining how SPR can go about defining students’ needs.

Cameron Childers, the representative from the Residence Hall Association, said that surveys were not a good idea to conduct this research.

Thwing didn’t come from a survey, it came from leaders,” he said. “As much as I love my residents, they don’t value surveys, and if we cast a net this large [with our broader goal, student] priority has to be really [great].”

Mena Vij, who represents the University Program Board, agreed with Childers and said that “Whenever [UPB] sends out surveys we never get good results.”

Vij went on to say that speaking face to face with the students would be a better idea, albeit more challenging.

The group also wants to focus on the wellbeing of the undergraduate population.

Ivy Petsinger, the representative from USG, said that the culture of stress on our campus can be toxic, which is why she is in favor of improving the overall wellness of undergraduate students.

“I love the idea of it and it’s a stress-positive campus … those are really important and this is a place we could have those discussions,” she said.

SPR’s next meeting is on Oct. 13 in the Tinkham Veale University Center Gaming Room. It is open to all students.